Chinese electric vehicle makers Nio and Xpeng both reported record deliveries during the first quarter of 2021, despite seasonal industry-wide slowdown in car sales and ongoing complications due to a global chip shortage.
Shanghai-headquartered Nio delivered 20,060 vehicles in the three months ended March 2021, an increase of 423% year-over-year, the company said on Thursday.
In March alone, Nio delivered 7,257 vehicles, marking a new monthly record at 373% year-over-year growth. The deliveries included the ES8 7-seat flagship SUV, the ES6 5-seat premium SUV, and the EC6 5-seat coupe SUV. The ES6 was the most popular model out of the three with a total of 3,152 units delivered throughout the month.
Meanwhile, Guangzhou-based Xpeng delivered a record 13,340 EVs in the first quarter of 2021, representing a 487% jump year-over-year.
March deliveries for Xpeng reached 5,102 units, a 384% increase year-over-year and a 130% increase month-over-month. Deliveries included 2,855 P7 sport sedans and 2,247 G3 SUVs.
Xpeng said on Thursday that its “growing brand recognition and product appeal, expanded product portfolio and its relentless efforts in broadening sales, marketing and supercharging service networks across China” were the primary drivers of the recent sales momentum.
The firm also plans to unveil its third production model in the second quarter, with deliveries forecasted in the fourth quarter.
In order to further develop and promote its Navigation Guided Pilot, or NGP, a full-stack autonomous driving solution developed in-house, Xpeng on 19 March kicked off a week-long autonomous driving challenge spanning more than 3,600 kilometers across six Chinese provinces.
The total distance of 3,675 km covered 3,145 km of highways, upon which the key functionalities and reliability of the NGP was fully tested, including entering and exiting highway ramps, switching of and lanes, overtaking and speed limit adjustment.
Both Nio and Xpeng shares jumped as much as 6% on Thursday after revealing their robust first-quarter delivery figures. Rival Tesla is expected to announce its delivery results before the weekend.
SEE ALSO: NIO Temporarily Suspends Production for Five Working Days Due to Semiconductor Shortage
However, the global semiconductor shortage has started to impact Chinese EV makers. Nio decided last week to temporarily suspend vehicle production activity at its Hefei manufacturing plant for five working days due to a lack of chips.
Xpeng vice-chairman Brian Gu in January said the company’s relatively small-scale output has not been affected by problems in the global chip supply.
“Our production volume for this year and the next remains relatively manageable, compared to some larger OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that would require far more chipsets,” Gu said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Experts predict that the shortage may extend to other EV makers in the country and last through the third quarter of this year.